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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pacquiao - Cotto: 4 months to go, a few problems but a giant upside

The organization for this event isn't done yet.

This is not just about minor details such as stolen lunch buffet tickets during fight week at the MGM Grand or which fighter is on the higher floor or closer to the elevator. Or my favorite of a photographer credential needed at ringside for a rogue radio station.

Miguel Cotto doesn't really want to put his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt up against Manny Pacquiao Nov. 14 without one more deal in place. The reason isn't the difference between 145 and 143 pounds.

The reason is the rumored approximate $150,,000 USD sanctioning fee due WBO president Paco Valcarcel. I think this figure it is a tad high. Because that would mean at 3% sanction fee that Cotto is looking at almost $5million for his night's work as the champion, but really he's the opponent against Pacquiao.

Cotto doesn't want to pay that much. If he doesn't pay it, neither should Pacquiao.

Pacquiao wants the title on the line because it would be his 7th different weight division to have won a world title and be a cause for great enthusiasm and pride in his home country, the Philippines.

Promoter Bob Arum has said that the USA doesn't care about the belt being at stake, which is quite confusing to me. Confusing like President' Obama's non apology "apology" to the policeman and police department he insulted without facts during the week near Harvard University.

But I digress.

Most fighters pay 3% of the guaranteed money but not the massive amount from pay-per-view revenue and overages from closed-circuit and something called mysterious blank contracts. This money is rarely seen or heard of. Of course some fights bomb and there is nothing to count.. This is part of boxing's murky underbelly.

It takes years sometime for all this money from the cable and satellite companies to come in because the first invoice could be mailed out 45 - 60 days after the fight. Then sometimes 90 days for money to roll in.

Factor in hot checks, people moving out, general dead beats who don't pay, digital cable piracy, revenue that sits in an escrow account because the promoters are suing each other and the cable and satellite companies don't want to be sued for paying the wrong party.

Cable companies go bankrupt, are sold and otherwise slow pay and that is on the good days.

On the flip side, sweet money comes in from successful lawsuits against commercial pirates such as sports bars, restaurants, night clubs, etc. That is a cottage industry. This is another part of boxing's murky underbelly.

The fight is going to happen. A negotiation for a possible sizable discount may get some play and the parties then may split the difference.

This is a showcase fight. Pacquio is not the opponent, he is the star. This is a major event for Puerto Rico; international prestige for the Puerto Rico- based WBO; Valcarcel personally; and a major payday for WBO coffers..

This all means Valcarcel, through no fault of his own, will have to come off his 3% fee for both fighters and possibly even Top Rank's promotion fee to make this happen.

This happens sometimes in big events but not regularly.

This fight sets a dangerous precedent for the next big fight and sanctioning body involved because where do they draw the line when all the other fighters want to have a discounted fee and basically have a "house account."

The weight issue has always been silly and even amateurish. But the sanctioning fee is a little more serious,

I like Valcarcel personally. I know Jose Sulaiman and the World Boxing Council (WBC) will be watching this closely but the WBO, even with over 20 years in the business and superbly run by attorney Valcarcel, is a flea compared to the big dog WBC in Mexico City.

The WBO Champion Honor Roll includes prestigious champions such as: Ricardo Lopez; Naseem Hamed; Chris Eubank; Oscar De La Hoya; Nigel Benn; Erik Morales; Marco Antonio Barrera; Acelino Freitas; Michael Carbajal; Johnny Tapia; Kennedy McKinney; Junior Jones; Diego Corrales; Hector Camacho; Winky Wright; Herbie Hide; Riddick Bowe; and Michael Moorer to name a select few.

However competition is good for everybody involved and I'm wishing Paco as much success as possible.

This event will hit Super Fight status and be a top 20 highest grossing fight of all time when all is said and done.

Pacquiao promoter Top Rank has a three announcement press conferences spread out the week before the official fight week of Golden Boy Promotions' Floyd Mayweather - Juan Manual Marquez fight week culminating with the third presser September 12 in Cotto's Puerto Rico.

Of course the Mayweather - Marquez fight is September 19.

I couldn't imagine Pacquiao - Cotto needing any more hype at the expense of Mayweather - Marquez, which is exactly what Arum wants.

Couldn't they do it the week following Mayweather - Marquez? Now the boxing media could almost be split between the two events and many news agencies will only have one fight budgeted for, so one fight will be a big loser.

There is not a big enough boxing media to start dividing it in two.

Of course Golden Boy Promotions will be obligated to respond in kind with something to rattle the Top Rank cage such as blatantly taking away a fighter.

Better get that suit case filled with unmarked bills and golf clubs ready to go.

You never know who you will run into on a country club golf course.

This fight will get over the finish line and we only have four months of this calculated chaos to go!

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-11372-Dallas-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d25-Pacquiao--Cotto-4-months-to-go-a-few-problems-but-a-giant-upside

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